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BOSU® Metabolic Methods

High intensity training remains a popular format among fitness enthusiasts. Also referred to as metabolic training, it offers great results with minimal time commitment. If you have limited time to devote to your workouts (Don’t we all?) but crave a high energy and creative workout, I have three drills that you can mix and match as you see fit.

Metabolic Training refers to exercises that are designed for maximum calorie burn both during and post exercise and require a high work rate with limited recovery. In general, exercises include multiple muscle groups and sequences are designed to increase the heart rate quickly. If you are interested in burning calories more efficiently, increasing lean muscle mass, and improving your cardiovascular fitness, all while spending less time in the gym, I have you covered!

These drills utilize my three favorite tools: The BOSU® Surge Hydro Trainer, the BOSU® Balance Trainer and the BOSU® Core Sliders.  Each has unique benefits and, in addition to providing a calorie crushing workout, requires an additional stability challenge which will facilitate improved balance and coordination. Enjoy functional benefits in addition to improving your fitness level!

BOSU® Surge Hydro Trainer: Discover the benefits of hydro training using this water-filled product. As you move, the water shifts inside it to provide dynamic resistance. This creates an unpredictable stability challenge and requires more muscle recruitment that will lead to enhanced performance!

BOSU® Balance Trainer: Utilize the unstable surface of this tool to increase neuromotor connections and improve body awareness and coordination. Engage more muscle groups and increase effort and intensity to amplify your workout and reach your fitness goals. 

BOSU® Core Sliders: Improve balance, posture, and joint stability and amp up intensity with this tool that slides smoothly across multiple surfaces. Place the sliders under your hands or feet while executing your favorite moves to progress your favorite exercises!

Workout Drills:

Reverse Ladders

This unique sequence alternates between strength and cardio moves and combines a descending and ascending ladder. Execute exercise one for 1 rep and exercise two for 10 reps, then exercise one for 2 reps and exercise two for 9 reps.  Continue this pattern until completing exercise one for 10 reps and exercise two for 1 rep. 

Equipment: BOSU® Surge Hydro Trainer

Exercise 1:

Hang Clean to Thruster Progression

Stand in Athletic Stance holding Surge in neutral grip in front of knees with arms extended. Clean the Surge to neutral grip in rack position while lowering into squat. Extend at knees and hips and press Surge overhead. 

Progression: Increase resistance by adding water to the Surge.

Regression: Reduce Range of Motion (ROM)

Exercise 2:

Push-up Chest Crash

Start in athletic Stance holding Surge in neutral grip at chest level. Squat and lower Surge to floor. Jump back to plank position and do a push-up. Jump forward and return to starting position. Perform a horizontal chest crash.

Progression: Do additional push-ups.

Regression: Step, instead of jumping, into plank position.

Tabata Timing

It takes only four minutes, but this drill is surprisingly challenging! Do exercise one, alternating 20 seconds of maximum effort with 10 seconds of rest. Complete 8 rounds. Rest for two minutes and then repeat with exercise two.

Equipment: BOSU® Balance Trainer

Exercise 1:

Prone Squat Jump/Jack/Push-up

Platform Side Up (PSU)

Begin in plank position with hands on the platform, slightly wider than shoulder-width distance apart. Jump feet into a squat position astride the Balance Trainer keeping hands on the platform. Jump back to plank and do a prone jack by jumping to a wide stance and back in. Lower into push-up bringing chest to platform and return to starting position.

Progression: Increase tempo.

Regression: Do the push-up with knees on the floor.

Exercise 2:

Biased Squat 180 Over Dome

Dome side up (DSU)

Begin standing with right (R) foot on the center of the dome and left (L) foot on the floor. Lower into a squat and then jump up, turning 180 degrees to land with the L foot on the dome and R foot on the floor. Repeat one additional time to land in starting position. Hop over the dome. Repeat other side.

Progression: Do additional jump turns on each side.

Regression: Jump without the 180-degree turn.

The EMOM Protocol

The “Every Minute on the Minute” protocol It is a type of training that involves starting a new set of exercises at the start of each minute. If you work faster, you will increase intensity but then earn more rest. You choose your work rate! Do exercise one for 8 reps and then rest until the next cycle begins. Complete 5 rounds. Rest for two minutes and then do 6 reps of exercise two for 5 cycles.

Equipment: BOSU® Core Sliders

Exercise 1:

Mountain Climber Twister

Start in plank position with forefeet on core sliders. Bring R knee into chest, then left. Bring R knee to L elbow, then L knee to R elbow. This counts for one rep.

Progression: Increase tempo.

Regression: Reduce ROM.

Exercise 2:

Burpee Rotational Knee Tuck

Begin standing with forefeet on Core Sliders. Squat down and place hands on the floor. Slide feet back to plank position. Bend knees and slide in toward R elbow, then return to plank position. Slide feet into center and stand. Repeat sequence, bringing knees toward L elbow.

Progression: Add a push-up after returning to plank position.

Regression: Bring knees to center instead of rotating.


Melissa Weigelt, MS, is a BOSU® Master Trainer and owner at Flow Fitness Training, where she develops and presents a variety of continuing education programs for fitness instructors.

Learn, train and engage with other fitness professionals at BOSU® Live Stream and Live Education courses. For information on our cutting edge content, taught by the best in the industry, click HERE.